By:  Holly Horning

In Thursday’s blog, we discussed why Brad Ausmus will now likely stay for the rest of this season. That is, unless Mr. I’s tolerance for football-like final scores dissipates.

In exactly one month, the Tigers season will be over and presumably Al Avila will be making changes to his personnel shortly thereafter. In advance of that, let’s take a multiple-part look at Brad’s potential replacement for next year.

Managers leave teams for multiple reasons and not just because of their win-loss records. Personalities, changes at the GM-level, new owners and different strategies/direction are just a few of the factors.

Additionally, not all managers have the same issues to manage. Consideration should be given to the quality of the players entrusted to them, where in the development loop the team is situated and whether the manager is there to help in the rebuilding, stabilizing, development or pennant-driven path.

This year is expected to offer a bumper crop of managers who will become available. Analysts expect 14 of them to hit the unemployment line by the time Halloween arrives. And if more GMs are released from their jobs, expect that figure to go north as new Front Offices tend to beget new managers.

As Hank Bauer once said, “Managers are hired to be fired.” In fact, there are only three managers in the Baseball Hall of Fame who were never fired. One retired due to health reasons, one died while holding his position and the third one owned the team. How a manager should be viewed is ideally based upon how much he did given what was handed to him.

So who is available now? Who is likely to be available by the time the last out is recorded in the final game of the World Series? In the first of this multi-part series, let’s take a look at the likely suspects.


Manny Acta
John Farrell
Ron Gardenhire
Ozzie Guillen
Lloyd McClendon
Ron Washington


Bud Black
Terry Francona
Fredi Gonzalez
Dan Jennings
Don Mattingly
Bob Melvin
Pat Murphy
Bryan Price
Buck Showalter
Robin Ventura
Walt Weiss
Matt Williams


Terry Collins
Joe Girardi
Mike Scioscia

In future installments, we’ll review each grouping for the reasons why each may become available as well as why the Tigers won’t consider 6 of them.

In the meantime, let’s hope that Al Avila identifies the issues that have held the team back for the past ten years. And just as important, that he develops a detailed list of required job skills for any new manager.

15 thoughts on “NEW FACES, NEW PLACES

  1. Don’t expect Buck Showalter to available, but if so, they should move heaven and earth to bring him in. There is none better in this generation.


  2. Holly, I can’t wait to read the next installments to see other opinions regarding the names and fit rationale! Along those lines, I read that AA may be bringing in a HUGE name in the Sabermetrics field soon. Rumor has it that that this person is one of the most respected quantitative analyst names in all of sports. Our next manager will definitely be in lock-step with this move.


    • This is a very interesting point Ray. I’ll share that I am a big supporter of using data to make business better, in any industry. Holly and Kurt, talk about an awesome future post! I would LOVE to hear how you, AA and the Tigers feel they levered this tool to make their product (pitching) better. Do the Tigers interview and try out statistical gurus and new algorithms like they do players and coaches in a reboot?


  3. See why Farrell won’t score an interview. Very curious about your opinions on guys who have won, or came close to, in Washington, Guillen and Gardenhire and why they won’t be considered. Given his previous relationship with Theo Epstein, Francona is an intriguing choice as well as Sciosia as he always seems to have some sort of binder in the dugout.


    • Hi, Jerry – I’ll tackle that one now. From what I’ve read, Mr. I was opposed to having someone without experience. That leaves out Omar. Tram already worked for Mr. I so I don’t think they will venture down that road again. Gibby is battling Parkinson’s and will be undergoing treatment for awhile. Thanks for reading and commenting! – Holly


  4. Scioscia is not into sabermetrics and analytics, which is why he clashed with former Angels GM Jerry Dipoto. He refused to use much of the sabermetrics and analytics that Dipoto presented to him each game. In a power play, Scioscia won and Dipoto resigned. Their feud had been on going for years anyway.


  5. I’d consider Gardenhire if he brought pitching coach Rick Anderson along, especially after the last week. The problems in Minnesota from 2011 to 2014 probably were influenced by the GM change from Terry Ryan to Bill Smith in 2007. Ryan’s return after 2011 looks like it is paying off with the Twins.


  6. Bite your tongue, Holly. Dan Jennings???? Was disastrous with the Marlins. And this would be an upgrade over Ausmus??? How??? No managerial experience at the professional level. Sounds like someone we know who could be on his way out.


    • Hi, Eric – No need to get upset yet. 😉 This list is only about who is and who will probably be available. It’s not a statement from me and I’m not endorsing any of these candidates – yet. At some point in this series, I’ll be offering analysis about who is and who isn’t viable. Stay tuned……… – Holly


      • Not upset at all hon. And I know it isn’t you endorsing anyone. But when I saw that name on the list I was incredulous if he’s being considered. Keep up the good work with your blog. It is as promised a breath of fresh air from some of the mainstream tripe that we are exposed to. BTW, you left Holly Horning off the lists.


    • Hi, Eric – Appreciate your comments. As for Jennings, he’s on the list because he’s a warm body and expected to be released after this season. And as for me on that list….well, I’ve already applied for my dream job: understudy for Paws. Thanks for reading! – Holly


  7. Francona! Francona!

    IF Showalter were available (I really doubt that he is), I’d probably reconsider & switch to:

    Showalter! Showalter!


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